Getting arrested can be one of the scariest events in someone’s life. Often, the person is at the wrong place at the wrong time and can get accused of something they did not do. Perhaps they hung around the wrong crowd and made a mistake or were hanging around someone who committed a crime, and they are an accessory. Others may have committed a crime, and it is their first offense. No matter the issues, they need an attorney experienced in criminal law to get them off the hook or reduce the charges.
There are many reasons you will find it beneficial to get a private criminal defense attorney over the state-appointed ones. The first thing is to remain as calm as possible and know your rights should you find yourself in this situation. The part where it says to stay silent says it all and only speak to a private defense attorney you can trust. Speaking can only make matters worse, especially if you are innocent.
Speaking with Your Defense Attorney
Once you get past the part of remaining silent and face to face with your defense attorney, you should explain everything you can remember and be honest in detail. The main thing is to listen and follow all of the defense attorney’s instructions. The attorney can examine the situation and find out if there is a case and any deals that will benefit you when it is time to go before a judge. It is essential to remember that the prosecution is just as eager to have you thrown in jail as the defense attorney is to get your case dismissed. They know the law in a criminal case, and they are the best negotiators to speak on your behalf to the prosecution attorney.
What the Defense Attorney Can Do for You
After you have spoken with the defense attorney, they will conduct their investigations and work to prove your innocence if you are innocent. If you admit to the crime, they will check out your records to see if it is your first offense or if there are previous charges brought up against you. They may have your punishment and fines lessened if you are guilty. However, it will be difficult if they represent a repeat offender. Either way, they will work on your behalf to represent you in court.
What to Look for in a Defense Attorney
There are several things to look for in the consultation process. You want to know that the attorney has a good track record at winning cases and that they are certified to handle your situation. They must be straightforward and confident when offering advice. When you speak with the attorney, there will be signs of a good negotiator. You want one that can find the loopholes, such as if the arresting officer read your rights, realizes if it is your first offense, looks into the evidence thoroughly if you are innocent, and makes sure that they will handle your case, not someone else.
If you are going to pay for an attorney, you want one compassionate and listen to your side of the story. The price should be reasonable and upfront. In other words, some attorneys will want their money before pursuing the case, while others may work out a payment plan. There should be no hidden fees. Last, communication is everything in this world. The last thing you want is a lawyer who does not return your messages. You want to know everything that is going on in real-time. Attorneys who have these aspects are the best and most beneficial to you and your case.
Speaking on Your Behalf in Court
Inside the courtroom, the prosecution can be brutal. Right away, the defense attorney will know if you should take the stand or not. If they advise you don’t, then follow their lead. They will offer information throughout the hearing, trial, and sentencing to let you know what is happening.
As attorneys, they are advocates. That means they are the ones who will speak and deliver all of the information in legal terms to the court. One who does not know the legal terms and represents themselves will not follow what is taking place. An average person does not know the laws or loopholes to take, so the best thing is to have the attorney handle the entire case for them. If a person is innocent, the last thing they want is to be punished for a crime they did not commit. That is enough reason to have an attorney fight for your rights.
The Mercy of the Court
Those who are guilty and have no way out of their situation may have options to fall at the mercy of the court. The defense attorney and the prosecution will negotiate a lesser sentence in agreement for the client. This means the client can plead “guilty” or “no contest.” The judge will automatically gather information from both lawyers and judge what the sentence will be. The main thing the judge will look at is as follows:
- The crime itself that was committed;
- If anyone was hurt or killed in a crime;
- The extent of damage;
- What the law states are the fullest punishment options;
- If it was a one-time offense or if the defendant is a repeat offender;
- If there are any outstanding warrants on the defendant.
Upon looking at these scenarios, the judge has the option to offer mercy and a lesser sentence or slap the book down and deliver the severe punishment. This is where you realize the reasons to have the most experienced defense attorney at your side.
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